ISSN 2398-2942      

Balantidium coli

icanis
Contributor(s):

Vetstream Ltd


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Phylum: Ciliophora.
  • Class: Kinetofragminophera.
  • Genus: Balantidium.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Commensal in large intestine of pigs.

Lifecycle

  • Reproduces by binary fission.
  • Conjugation, a temporary attachment of 2 individuals during which nuclear material is exchanged, also occurs.
  • Cysts are formed which are passed in the feces.
  • New hosts are infected by ingestion of cysts.

Transmission

  • Contamination of fingers and food with pig feces.
  • Cysts usual source of infection but trophozoites possible source if contamination gross.

Pathological effects

  • Occasional disease in pigs. Invasion mucosa → ulceration, associated with mild to severe enteritis.
  • Dysentery, hemorrhage and death possible.
  • Zoonosis in man.
  • Invasion → ulceration associated with dysentery. Spread to other tissues, eg liver rare.
  • May cause infections in higher primates in zoos. Spreads between animals.
  • Occasionally cause infection in other animals.

Other Host Effects

  • Primary host pig, normally commensal.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

Control via environment

  • Hygiene precautions to avoid contamination of food with, or direct contact with, pig feces.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Munen E, Otsyula M, Mbaabu D A et al (1998) Helminth and protozoan gastrointestinal tract parasites in captive and wild-trapped African non-human primates. Vet Parasitol 78 (3), 195-201 PubMed.
  • Weiss L M & Keohane E M (1997) The uncommon gastrointestinal Protozoa: Microsporidia, Blastocystis, Isospora, Dientamoeba and Balantidium. Curr Clin Top Infect Dis​ 17, 147-187 PubMed.
  • Dubey J P (1993) Intestinal protozoa infections. Vet Clin North America Small Anim Pract 23 (1), 37-55 PubMed.
  • Varma S & Malik P D (1976) The feeding habits of Balantidium coli. Vet Rec 99 (13), 256 PubMed.

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